Calendar Event

Speak & Sign Series: Acclaimed Columnist, Rochelle Riley

Speak & Sign Series: Acclaimed Columnist, Rochelle Riley
Thursday, June 7, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
50 East Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202

RSVPs are requested. Click here to RSVP.

Rochelle Riley is an award-winning newspaper columnist for the Detroit Free Press who is no longer seeking permission to put the burden down. She hosts a weekday radio show on 910AM Superstation; she offers commentary on NPR, Michigan Radio and local television outlets and contributes to Essence and Ebony magazines. She was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame in 2016, received the 2017 Ida B. Wells Award from the National Association of Black Journalists and Northwestern University, and was awarded the 2017 Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship by the Society of Professional Journalists. She also is a global wanderer who has visited twenty-six countries and counting.

The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery, edited by Riley, is a plea to America to understand what life post-slavery remains like for many African Americans, who are descended from people whose unpaid labor built this land, but have had to spend the last century and a half carrying the dual burden of fighting racial injustice and rising above the lowered expectations and hateful bigotry that attempt to keep them shackled to that past. The descendants of slaves have spent over 150 years seeking permission to put this burden down. As Riley writes in her opening essay, "slavery is not a relic to be buried, but a wound that has not been allowed to heal. You cannot heal what you do not treat. You cannot treat what you do not see as a problem. And America continues to look the other way, to ask African Americans to turn the other cheek, to suppress our joy, to accept that we are supposed to go only as far as we are allowed." The Burden aims to address this problem.

Following the discussion, attendees will have the opportunity to purchase The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery from the Smith & Hannon Bookstore at the museum and get it signed by Riley.   

This program is in partnership with the Greater Cincinnati Association of Black Journalists and Smith & Hannon Bookstore.    

For more information about Rochelle Riley, visit:

Event Date: 
Thursday, June 7, 2018 - 6:00pm